Within the second trimester of your pregnancy (13-27 weeks) you will normally have three appointments.
At this appointment your midwife or doctor will talk through the results of screening tests that took place between weeks 11-14. The blood test you had at that appointment will confirm whether your blood is rhesus positive or rhesus negative. If negative, your midwife will talk to you about this and offer to book you in for Anti-D injections. We can now offer you a further blood test to check the baby’s blood group at this appointment. If this shows that the baby’s blood group is rhesus negative you will not need the Anti-D injections.
Your midwife or doctor will give you information about the ultrasound anomaly scan you will be offered at 18-20 weeks. They will also help with any concerns or questions you have.
Your midwife or doctor may also offer to try to hear your baby’s heart beating during your antenatal appointments. It’s difficult to detect a baby’s heartbeat in the first trimester, so in some cases you may be recommended to await your anomaly scan before we listen into the baby’s heartbeat at your antenatal clinic appointments.
Some women will also need a glucose tolerance test (GTT) to screen for gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy). At your booking appointment your midwife will have asked you questions to assess whether you are at risk of developing gestational diabetes and referred you for the test if necessary. The test is usually done between 24-28 weeks.
If you’ve had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, you’ll be given the test earlier. If it’s negative, the test will be repeated later in the pregnancy. Alternatively, you might be given a blood sugar monitor so that you can check your sugar levels yourself during your pregnancy.
The glucose tolerance test (GTT) takes about two hours. The first blood sample will be taken in the morning, when you have had nothing to eat or drink overnight or the morning of the test. This includes not smoking, using chewing gum or taking any medication (unless its clinically necessary). You will then be given a special glucose drink, and another blood sample will be taken two hours later.
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you will be placed under the care of a consultant and a specialist diabetes team to support you and keep you well throughout your pregnancy.